More information

Oyster, European flat

Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Green
Second choice
Avoid
Bycatch
Informatie over vissoort
Lees meer
General

Shellfish

Shellfish is a culinary term that is often used for several species of molluscs, gastropods, bivalves and arthropods. Some examples are the St. James shell, mussels, razor clams, oysters, cockles and whelks. Most shellfish live partly or fully buried into the seabed, mostly in sandy or gravelly bottoms. They feed by filtering nutrients out of the water. Seed and eggs are released into the water and fertilized externally. Most shellfish are hermaphroditic, they can be both male and female. There are many different shellfish species in the North Sea that are very much suitable for consumption. Fishing methods on shellfish include hand-picking, dredging or mechanic dredges (suckers).

 

Oyster, European flat

Both the endemic flat oyster and the exotic Pacific oyster are farmed and fished in the Netherlands. The European flat oyster, or mud oyster, can reach a maximum length of 22 cm but are often consumed at lengths of 10 centimetres. This oysters can be found in the Northeast Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.  

 

Oyster, European flat

Ostrea edulis
Origin

Europe, inland waters
Deelgebieden: Limfjord

Farming- / Catch method

Bottom culture

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Explanation assessment

In februari 2013 the Dutch oyster fishery in the Grevelingen and the Oosterschelde has been MSC-certifiedMSC Certified:
Fisheries that comply with the Marine Stewardship Council assessment criteria and are certified. Fish products with the blue MSC label are caught by sustainable fisheries.
. Despite the fact that it is aquaculture, the MSC standard for sustainably caught fish was still applicable. This is due to the fact that it is a form of aquaculture in which almost the whole process takes place in the wild and in a natural, uncontrolled manner.

The Dutch oyster fishery has received the MSC certificate after an independent team of scientists had established that the cultivation is carried out in such a controlled manner that there is no talk of overfishingOverfishing:
There is so much fish caught that the size of the stock has diminished so far that it can no longer produce a maximum sustainable yield. The size of the fish populations is insufficient to reproduce in the long term. 
and that undesirable effects on wildlife in and around the sea are limited to an absolute minimum.

Since 2017, the oyster fishery in Limfjorden in Denmark has also been MSC-certified.

 

Oyster, European flat

Ostrea edulis
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Bottom culture, Hangculture

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Source usage
Impact on the environment
Management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The indigenous oysters in Europe, flat oysters, are farmed in many countries. The wild population of flat oysters in the Netherlands has almost disappeared due to overfishingOverfishing:
There is so much fish caught that the size of the stock has diminished so far that it can no longer produce a maximum sustainable yield. The size of the fish populations is insufficient to reproduce in the long term. 
and the oyster disease in the 60’s. These oysters are still farmed in a few places in Zeeland, but mostly come from France and Ireland.

The farming of oysters is done via several methods. Oyster larvae can be farmed in hatcheries or can be caught in the water with specialised collectors. The oysters are not often farmed directly on the seabed. In intertidal areas the oysters are often farmed in meshed bags on frames. In areas that situated under water, the oysters are farmed in crates or on ropes that hang in the water. These methods cause little disturbance to the environment. Oysters filter their food (algae) from the water and therefore do not need extra food.

The European oyster culture is managed well but often takes place in vulnerable areas.

Fish in season 

Fish is in season when the spawning period has ended, as the quality is then at its best.

 

ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.

Avoid

Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.

By-catch

This fish is unwillingly caught while fishing for a different species. They are underused and should be eaten more.

GlobalG.A.P.

GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.

Organic

Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.